Happy Halloween

Saturday, October 31, 2009

The question this Halloween is whether Virginia voters will get any "treats" this coming Tuesday. Like, I could really go for a "Great Comeback" to go with the "Great Pumpkin!" :)

Senior-Silencing Mayor Campaigns for Rust

Interesting...the obnoxious Mayor of Herndon, the same guy who silenced a senior citizen trying to speak at a recent Town Council hearing, is now out there actively campaigning for Tom Rust. What's interesting is that I hear Rust has been telling folks at the doors that he doesn't support the Town Council's bullying behavior. If that's the case, then why is he having them campaign for him?

New Shannon Video Emphasizes Cooch's "Bigotry," Asserts "We Are One People"

NLS, Blue Virginia, RK Blog Traffic Indicate Low Netroots Interest in VA Governor's Race

I've been thinking lately that it seems a bit quiet on the Virginia Democratic blogosphere, so I decided to check it out. I looked at Sitemeter traffic stats for Not Larry Sabato (I only have the last 12 months) and Blue Virginia - the only two large, Virginia Democratic blogs that have public Sitemeters. I also looked back at RK stats for 2006, 2007 and 2008 (unfortunately, I don't have good RK traffic stats for 2005). What I found is that, as you might expect, in the leadup to elections, traffic almost always increases. However, it varies widely by how interesting/exciting the election is. Here are some examples.

In the June 2006 Democratic primary (Webb vs. Miller), traffic at Raising Kaine nearly doubled from March (about 30,000 visits) to May (about 55,000 visits). In the fall of that year, traffic in October and November hit around 127,000 visits per month, approximately double what Raising Kaine was averaging over the summer (around 55,000-60,000 visits per month).

This was a true "off-off year" election in Virginia, with no statewide races, "only" General Assembly (House and Senate). Leading up to the June primaries that year, Raising Kaine traffic increased a bit (around 20%), from 50,000-55,000 monthly visits in January-March to 65,000-70,000 visits per month in April-May. In the fall, traffic increased from around 60,000 visits over the summer to 93,177 visits in October and 115,426 visits in November. That's a big increase from the baseline -- not quite a doubling but close. That's a lot, especially for an "off-off year" election!

This, of course, was the big one - a presidential election year. Not surprisingly, traffic at RK was high all year, but it really spiked during primaries and general elections. For instance, in February 2008 - the time of the Virginia Democratic presidential primary - RK traffic hit 140,114 visits, nearly double the 72,971 visits received in December 2007 (in January 2008, there were 93,569 visits). Over the summer of 2008, RK traffic averaged in the 90,000-visits-per-month range, as interest in the election remained high. Then, it spiked in the fall, to 127,732 visits in September, to 193,119 visits in October (more than double July traffic), and to about 150,000 visits in November (56% higher than August traffic).

A priori, based on the patterns seen in 2006, 2007 and 2008, I'd expect a big spike in traffic leading up to election days in this Virginia governor's election year. However, I didn't really find that. Leading up to the June primary, for instance, Blue Virginia went from 34,113 visits in April to 37,765 in May and 45,884 in June. That's about a 35% traffic increase from April to June; not bad, but nothing particularly exciting. Over at NLS, traffic went from 82,342 visits in April to 76,847 in May to 95,947 in June. That's about a 17% increase from April to June; again, not bad, but again nothing to get your heart racing.

Now, leading up to the November 3 general election, how's it going? Meh. For Blue Virginia, October (about 56,000 visits) looks like it will have increased about 41% over August (39,764 visits) and 29% over September (43,480 visits). For NLS, October (around 105,000 visits) looks about 3% higher than August (101,659 visits) and 20% over September (87,747 visits) traffic. That's nothing compared to 2008, of course, but it's also not much compared to 2006 or 2007 either.

In short, the Virginia Democratic netroots doesn't appear particularly enthused this year, at least not compared to the last three years. This trend appears to mirror the overall loss in intensity among Virginia Democratic voters more broadly, who appear to have "fallen asleep" to some extent now that George W. Bush is out of the White House and Democrats control Congress. Also, it appears that this governor's election simply isn't gathering much attention from activists; I don't have good stats for 2005, but distinctly recall a great deal more energy and traffic on the Democratic blogs four years ago compared to today.

P.S. I also got some stats from the Blue Commonwealth folks, just for comparison purposes, and they indicate no significant difference from the trends - relatively flat traffic leading up to this election - observed at NLS and Blue Virginia.

Great Diary by teacherken: "the dragons can be killed"

Please read and recommend. Here's an excerpt (bolding added by me for emphasis):
At the edges of some medieval maps one might see the legend "here there be dragons" with illustrations of sea serpents. These marked the end of the known world, with the fears inherent in the unknown.

And yet, as children know, the monsters and dragons are part of everyday existence. They are under the bed, they are in our imagination, some seek to use them to manipulate use - pace the Glenn Becks and Rush Limbaughs and others of their ilk.

Ken Cuccinelli is potentially more dangerous than either Beck or Limbaugh, because he would have the power of office, an ability to discriminate, to refuse to protect the rights of minorities he does not respect. He can distort our legal processes in very harmful ways.

But, as Chesterton reminds us, fairy tales help us to remember that dragons can be killed.

As horrible as the thought of the like of Ken Cuccinelli in state wide office might be, the people of the Commonwealth - and those who care what happens - can still make a difference.

Steve Shannon is worthy of the office of Attorney General on his own merits.

Ken Cuccinelli would not only be a disgrace. He represents something truly frightening in American politics.

Which is why we must demonstrate that this is one dragon that can be killed.
Let's hope so, and let's not mince words: Ken Cuccinelli is about as radical a Republican (or, for that matter, of any party) you're ever going to see running for statewide office in this country. Seriously, this guy is so far right wing, he makes Bob McDonnell look like Nancy Pelosi. Among his more impressive qualities, "Cooch" is "black helicopter crowd" paranoid, delusional, willfully ignorant, anti-science, disrespectful of the law and the constitution, all concealed under a (usually) pleasant external demeanor. Don't be fooled, though; this is the most wacked-out statewide candidate we've seen in Virginia in our lifetimes, and that includes Michael Farris (they're actually two extremist birds of a feather). Even if you don't particularly care about the top of the ticket, I urge you - Democrats, independents, moderates, reasonable Republicans - to come out in Tuesday and STOP THIS GUY before he does a great deal of damage to a lot of Virginians...

Whipple Clip Dozen: Saturday Morning

Thanks to Tom Whipple for the weekend Whipple Clips!


Barack Obama: "Milestones on the Economy and the Recovery Act"

The full transcript is here.
Each week, I’ve spoken with you about the challenges we face as a nation and the path we must take to meet them. And the truth is, over the past ten months, I’ve often had to report distressing news during what has been a difficult time for our country. But today, I am pleased to offer some better news that – while not cause for celebration – is certainly reason to believe that we are moving in the right direction.

On Thursday, we received a report on our Gross Domestic Product, or GDP. This is an important measure of our economy as a whole, one that tells us how much we are producing and how much businesses and families are earning. We learned that the economy grew for the first time in more than a year and faster than at any point in the previous two years. So while we have a long way to go before we return to prosperity, and there will undoubtedly be ups and downs along the road, it’s also true that we’ve come a long way. It is easy to forget that it was only several months ago that the economy was shrinking rapidly and many economists feared another Great Depression.

Now, economic growth is no substitute for job growth. And we will likely see further job losses in the coming days, a fact that is both troubling for our economy and heartbreaking for the men and women who suddenly find themselves out of work. But we will not create the jobs we need unless the economy is growing; that’s why this GDP report is a good sign. And we can see clearly now that the steps my administration is taking are making a difference, blunting the worst of this recession and helping to bring about its conclusion.

FDL Action Health Care Update: Friday (10/30/09)

Friday, October 30, 2009

Here are the FDL Action health care reform highlights for Friday, October 30.

1. Jane Hamsher blogs the "Lieberkini." Let's just say, this is appropriate for Halloween, maybe even a creative costume idea if you haven't come up with one yet. Ha.

2. Jon Walker writes that although the "media is making a lot of hay about the CBO conclusion that with its negotiated rates, the House’s public option will have premiums slightly higher than private insurance on the exchange," in actuality this means is that "the public option would be able to provide high quality, low hassle health insurance at a better unit cost." However, it gets a lot more complicated than that - the "adverse selection" paradox and "an insufficient 'risk adjustment' procedure." To learn more, read Jon Walker's excellent analysis.

3. Jane Hamsher invited everyone to join medical students and her earlier today at the Russell Senate office building to "treat, not trick" for generic drugs. Hamsher also points out that "These events were cosponsored by POP, as part of our ongoing effort for health care advocacy." You can join the POP facebook page here. Don't worry, it will be a treat not a trick!

4. Jon Walker points to a new "Research 2000 poll sponsored by the PCCC shows that the public option is dramatically more popular than Blanche Lincoln." Which makes it, well, not the most politically savvy move that "Lincoln has already twice voted against the public option in committee." But I'm sure she must know things that the rest of us don't know. (snark)

5. Jane Hamsher writes about "pro-life" Rep. Bart Stupak's threat (or is it a bluff?) to block the House health care bill from passing over the issue of tax dollars for abortion. Hamsher asks, "Where the hell is Planned Parenthood? How about NARAL?" The answer so far: "crickets".

6. Jon Walker argues that the "Dutch health system shows [the] necessity of [a] strong risk adjustment mechanism." Walker adds, "This dangerous lack of sufficient risk adjustment mechanisms is the Achilles heel of reform."

7. Michael Whitney reports that Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) "isn’t even sure she’ll let health care be debated on the floor of the Senate, let alone allowing to go to a vote." All the more reason, Whitney argues, to contribute towards organizers in Arkansas for a possible primary challenge to Lincoln. Needless to say, that would definitely not be a "treat" for Blanche Lincoln!

8. Finally, Jon Walker blogs about CBO Director Doug Elmendorf apparently "no longer sure what 'bending the cost curve' even means." As Walker notes, this is "probably not what the Blue Dogs were hoping for..." The question with the "Blue Dogs," of course, is whether their bark is worse than their bite. It appears we'll be finding out in short order.

Happy Halloween from everyone at FDL Action!

Elect Barbara New Jersey!


P.S. Needless to say, I strongly support Margi Vanderhye for Delegate in the 34th district...of Virginia! :)

Eric Brescia (R) Quotes Tim Kaine, Blue Virginia, Supports "Marriage Equality"

It's fascinating to see how Eric Brescia's running his race as an "Arlington Republican" (pro-environment, pro-gay marriage, positive) compared to how Aaron Ringel's running his (nasty, negative, nothing on his website on social issues at all). Quite a contrast. Now why can't the rest of the Virginia Republican Party be like Eric Brescia?

P.S. Click on image to "embiggen."
P.P.S. Note to Eric - "Priorites" is not how you spell "Priorities."

New Shannon Ad: Cooch Will Be "Embarrassment"

Jon Stewart Explains How Fox "News" Really Works

UPDATE: Pew finds that Fox "is viewed by Americans in more ideological terms than other television news networks." Shocker, eh?

The Washington Post's Aaron Ringel Problem

Posted by The Green Miles

Why doesn't Aaron Ringel's official campaign bio list the job he held until just 22 months ago? Maybe he doesn't want Arlington voters to know he worked for a firm that did lobbying work for Hugo Chavez.

Ringel's LinkedIn profile shows he worked for Bracewell & Giuliani from May 2006 to December 2007. During that time, it was revealed the firm took as much as $200,000 to lobby for Citgo, the Venezuelan state-run oil company. The firm is also one of the country's biggest lobbyists for Big Oil.

Ringel's disgusting attack on longtime Arlington leader Del. Bob Brink (paid for not by Ringel's campaign but by the state party) re-opens questions about Aaron Ringel. Who is Aaron Ringel? Why is he really running? Who would he represent in Richmond?

I wouldn't expect Arlington Republican Party Chair Mark Kelly to condemn Ringel's attack -- Kelly works for the Heritage Foundation, so Karl Rove tactics are fine with him. I wouldn't expect Eric Brescia to condemn it -- he's only 24 and I can't imagine he'd want to rock the boat. And I certainly wouldn't expect Bob McDonnell to say a word, even though he once served with Del. Brink in the House of Delegates.

But after endorsing Ringel's campaign just a few days ago, the Washington Post can't dodge this one. Its editorial board endorsed a former lobbyist making dirty attacks -- and did it explicitly because Aaron Ringel doesn't have Arlington's best interests in mind.

You have to wonder how much the Post knew or even cared about Ringel himself. The endorsement just seemed like thumbing its nose at Arlington and its silly "smart growth" and "wise use of resources." Given that the Post recently pulled its local reporter out of Arlington, the Post's credibility as a source of news and opinion in Arlington is clearly at stake.

It's not too late. And this dirty attack on a longtime Arlington leader is just the opportunity the Post needed to save its reputation in Arlington. The Post should immediately withdraw its endorsement of Aaron Ringel in the 48th district.

Bob McDonnell on Laura Ingraham Show: Pledges to Defund Planned Parenthood, Abortion

Virginians for Life - a group that aims to "dismantle the murderous Roe v. Wade decision that legalized the murder of innocent children" - celebrates McDonnell's comments on the Laura Ingraham Show:
...Laura Ingraham on talk radio asked Mr. McDonnell about the pro-life pledge that pro-life Virginians were asking him to make.

Apparently she heard about our efforts or read it at our web site.

She asked him if he would pledge to use his veto pen to defund Planned Parenthood and abortion.

After a pause, he said "Yes, that has been my position all along."

As you know, Mr. McDonnell has consistently said he will not make any pledges.

But that does NOT matter now. You and I now have a pledge to hold Mr. McDonnell to after the election.
So much for the "thesis" being ancient history, and so much for Bob McDonnell being a "moderate" focused on economic issues.

UPDATE: I just received a press release from the Deeds campaign which says that on WTOP earlier today:
...McDonnell misled the audience about his proposal, characterizing his opposition to funding for Planned Parenthood as nothing more than enforcing the federal law against funding abortion. In fact, McDonnell committed to cutting funding for programs that provide health care services like cancer screenings and birth control – and was praised for it by his pro-life supporters, who said they “now have a pledge to hold Mr. McDonnell to after the election.”

In fact, not one cent of Planned Parenthood funding goes to providing abortion services.
UPDATE #2: Planned Parenthood weighs in, and they are NOT pleased.

Washington Post: "Mr. Cuccinelli's bigotry"

The Washington Post editorial board often gets things wrong, but not this time.
KENNETH CUCCINELLI, the Republican candidate for Virginia state attorney general, believes it's "appropriate" to formulate public policy on the premise that homosexuals engage in behavior that is "intrinsically wrong" and offensive to "natural law." His comments -- which retrofit the old rhetoric of racism, bias and intolerance in a new context -- were made in an interview with the Virginian-Pilot, a newspaper in Norfolk.


Putting aside what Mr. Cuccinelli has to say about homosexuals when he's not trying so hard to be polite, let's call his comments what they are: bigotry. Bigotry is as pernicious today, applied to homosexuals, as it was a century ago or less, when immigrants and minorities were its main victims. And it is just as familiar. Appeals to "natural law" and "intrinsic" rights and wrongs were the usual cliches deployed to justify the old-time religion of hatred then directed at African Americans, Jews, Italians, Irish and other immigrants.
Strong stuff, but true. The editorial concludes by calling Cuccinelli an "extremist," part of the "far-right fringe," "the ultimate small tenter," a global-warming denier, and someone with "contempt" for the First Amendment. Other than that, they love him - as should we! :) In all seriousness, though, I totally agree with the Post on this one: "If he is elected attorney general, Mr. Cuccinelli would drive away qualified lawyers from an office that functions as the state government's law firm, and, given his bizarre ideas, he would very likely become an embarrassment for the commonwealth."

UPDATE: The Star City Harbiner has an excellent post on this.

Disgraceful Mailer by Aaron Ringel. Vote Bob Brink!

In case anyone needed any more evidence that there's something fundamentally wrong with Virginia Republicans these days, here's an example of what I'm talking about. The flyer depicted above was paid for and authorized by a supposedly "moderate" Arlington Republican - endorsed by the supposedly "liberal" Washington Post, no less - Aaron Ringel. From what I hear, there's also a Ringel robocall saying essentially the same thing.

In fact, the only thing this inflamatory and disgusting attack mailer proves is that Aaron Ringel doesn't want to (can't?) run on the issues, because he knows he's completely out of step with Arlington voters (not to mention the fact that he has essentially zero public policy experience himself). Instead, Ringel comes out with a mailer designed to induce fear and loathing, as well as to perpetuate assumptions that have no factual basis.

In reality, of course, this bill, HB 1481, specifically excluded anyone involved in "the sexual molestation or physical or sexual abuse or rape of a child." It didn't require, only provided that "a contractor or his employee may request a waiver from disqualification of providing services because of a felony conviction under certain conditions." It only applied to people with a felony conviction which "occurred at least five years prior to the date of the waiver request." It also specifically excluded "any crime against the person under Chapter 4 of Title 18.2: murder, manslaughter, homicide, shooting, stabbing, abduction, assault and battery, carjacking, rape, sexual battery, etc. In short, basically any violent crime against a person is excluded from the waiver request for non-violent, ex-felons. Not only that, but this law would have only applied to those non-violent, ex-felons once they'd been out of prison for 5 years. In sum, this bill provided for a possible waiver for people who were never violent, didn't ever harm a child, had paid their debt to society, and had been "clean" for 5 years or more. Why someone like this would be any more of a threat to children than pretty much anyone else hired by school systems is unclear, unproven, unsubstantiated, and frankly unhinged.

Sadly, Aaron Ringel doesn't appear troubled by the facts in his vicious attack against Del. Bob Brink (D-48). More broadly, all this does is make me wonder whether Ringel's vision for our society is that we continue locking up people at the highest rate of any "advanced" nation in the world, then never give them a chance to reintegrate into society (note: Jim Webb is working on this issue, which he calls a "national disgrace;" for more, see here).

Furthermore, does Aaron Ringel really believe that irresponsibly (and lightly) tossing around the loaded term "convicted felon," tarring all these people as inherently harmful to our children, is in any way constructive, responsible, or sound public policy? Sadly, it appears that Ringel thinks it is. Well, I'm sorry, but this ad is disgusting and Aaron Ringel should be ashamed of himself for authorizing it. Beyond that, the fact that this ad is being used against a superb public servant like Bob Brink tells us a great deal - none of it good - about Republicans, about our political system, and about our culture.

On November 3, I strongly urge that all Arlingtonians in the 48th House of Delegates district reject this disgusting mailer and the person who authorized it. Vote Bob Brink, and let's send a message that Arlington is better than this trash.

P.S. I hear that this template has been used by Republicans on a fill-in-the-name basis against Democratic incumbents across the Commonwealth. The only question was whether Aaron Ringel would have enough money - and lack of scruples - to run it. Sadly, the answer on both those points was "yes."

UPDATE: I received a statement from Del. Brink.
My opponent grew up in the Karl Rove era of Republican politics, and apparently he thinks Rove-style personal attacks, half-truths, and fear-mongering are the way to win an election. I think he's wrong. Having lived in Arlington for over 30 years, I'm confident the voters in the 48th will reject such ham-fisted smear tactics.

Whipple Clip Dozen: Friday Morning

Thanks to Tom Whipple for another workweek of "Whipple Clips." There's a lot of news today, so I'm including 13 clips instead of the usual dozen. Polls open in under 96 hours.


FDL Action Health Care Update: Thursday (10/29/09)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Here are the FDL Action health care reform highlights for Thursday, October 29.

1. Jon Walker writes that by stopping the "robust public option tied to modified Medicare rates," Blue Dog Democrats handed "a huge victory [to] the health insurance industry, hospitals, and PhRMA." Walker adds, "If I were an insurance company CEO, I would be writing each of them a very large thank you note (i.e. a campaign contribution)." I'd say "don't give them any ideas," but unfortunately it's probably way too late for that!

2. Walker reports on the unveiling of the House’s health care reform bill. The bill will cost "$894 billion over the next ten years," will be "fully paid for," "will expand coverage to an additional 36 million Americans and eventually close the Medicare Part D doughnut hole." The full text (PDF) of the bill - all 1,990 pages - is now available. Happy reading! :)

3. Walker discusses the health insurance "exchange." Walker concludes that "by 2015 all employers, and therefore all Americans not on Medicare or Medicaid, could start using the new health insurance exchange for health care." At least in theory, that is. We'll see what happens.

4. Michael Whitney reports that "in just 24 hours, the FDL community has raised more than $15,000 from more than 400 people" to put pressure on Sen. Blanche Lincoln in Arkansas. If you'd like to contribute, please click here. Thanks.

5. Jane Hamsher writes that, despite "much celebration on Capitol Hill today with the announcement of the new House health care bill," she feels "tremendous sadness and disappointment...with regard to the lifesaving biologic drugs I took when I was in chemotherapy that will cost many of my fellow breast cancer survivors everything they own, and quite possibly their lives." It's an issue I don't know much about, but obviously Jane Hamsher does. Click here to read more.

6. Given that "most of the planned health care reforms will not kick in until 2013." Jon Walker asks, "What Will Health Care Reform Do Right Away?" The answer is a list of the 14 reforms that would take effect in 2010. The big question is whether "the voting public will think it is sufficient." We'll find out, one way or the other, in a little over a year. Let's hope the Democratic leadership knows what it's doing politically.

7. Walker lists "11 Ways The House Bill Is Much Better Than The Baucus Bill" as well as "How The House’s Public Option Might Differ From The Senate’s". I'll tell you, it's going to be fascinating to see how the House Bill and whatever comes out of the Senate are merged in conference committee. Ah, the making of sausage...

8. Finally, Walker reports that the "CBO has concluded" "that the House bill will reduce the deficit over the next ten years, and will also reduce the federal deficit over the next twenty years." So much for that Republican talking point?

"Tea Partier" Running Against Frank Wolf in the 10th

This should be fun, just check out the guy's blogroll ("resistnet?" "The 912 Project?" ee gads).
Independence Caucus
Northern Virginia 912
Open Secrets
The 912 Project
Hey, you never know; maybe Jim Trautz can do for Frank Wolf in Virginia's 10th CD what Doug Hoffman is doing to Republican nominee Dede Scozzafava in New York's 23rd? Let's hope so!

UPDATE: Speaking of teabaggers, check this out. Awesome; go Bradley Rees!

Research 2000 Poll: McDonnell 54%-Deeds 44%

Here is the lastest poll by Research 2000 for Daily Kos. Compare to the September poll results here. The bottom line is that McDonnell leads Deeds by 10 points in this poll, 54%-44% and that Deeds is heading in the wrong direction. Markos writes, "With another five point drop in the last six weeks, the only drama here is whether Deeds' horrible campaign drags down Democrats further down the ballot."

Kyle's "triage" strategy appears to be looking better and better...

P.S. Marc Ambinder of The Atlantic has some thoughts on the 2009 Virginia governor's race here ("pre-mortem") and here ("more lessons learned").

Jody Wagner's New Ad Made Me "ROFLMAO!"

This is so true. And so funny. By the way, for those of you not up on internet(s) lingo, "ROFLMAO" means "rolling on the floor laughing my ass off." And this video made me do that. For that, I thank you Jody Wagner! :)

P.S. But there's nothing funny about the thought of 4 more years for Bill Bolling as LG of Virginia.

Bob McDonnell's Mentor: Hate Crimes Legislation Tightens "Noose" Around Christian Necks

Uh, yeah right Pat, protecting people like Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. from horrific hate crimes is anti-Christian. Suuuure. So here's the bottom line: when you go the polls on Tuesday, remember that Bob McDonnell is Pat Robertson's Manchurian Candidate, and if you vote for him you're voting for Robertson's brand of intolerance and fundamentalism. That is all.

Excellent New TV Ad by Steve Shannon

Excellent ad. Now, we'll see what Shannon's cash-on-hand advantage over Ken Cuccinelli can accomplish...

Video: Jeff Schapiro on Obama and Deeds

I've gotta say, I really enjoy watching Jeff Schapiro's political analysis - much better than that Washington Post "Masterpiece Theater" ripoff that got cancelled! :) Anyway, check out Schapiro's latest; my guess is you'll find it highly entertaining (if you're a political junkie, that is) even if you don't agree with it.

Rep. Perriello Testifies on Phony Pro-Coal Letters

Rep. Tom Perriello is testifying right now before the House Select Committee for Eneregy Independence and Global Warming. He's talking about the forged letters that were sent to his office by a firm working for the coal industry opposing the American Clean Energy & Security Act that passed the House in June. You can watch a live stream of his testimony here.

UPDATE 10:26am: Rep. Perriello says of the letter fraud, "This is a conscious level of forgery that's beyond what's seen in our politics today." Bonner & Associates has tried to claim they notified affected parties as soon as the fraud was discovered. However, investigations have shown Bonner discovered the fraud before the House vote, yet Rep. Perriello says his office wasn't contacted by Bonner until it had already been reported by the Charlottesville Daily Progress days later. More on that original story here.

"I just think this is the tip of the iceberg of the deception that Americans have been subjected to," says Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA). Rep. Perriello says the fraud has made it harder to know what his constituents really think -- which calls and letters are real and which have been ginned up by lobbyists?

Fortunately, Rep. Perriello put politics aside and voted his conscience on clean energy & climate action. "It looks to me like they picked the wrong guy to bully," says Inslee. If you have a few dollars to spare, don't forget to say thank you to Rep. Perriello for his courage. Let's hope Senators Warner & Webb take as firm a stand when the Senate votes on similar legislation in the coming weeks.

Daily Press: Your credibility is "completely and irrevocably gone"

The Daily Press
endorses Phil Hamilton despite what's right on its front page, and also what it acknowledges in its editorial, that Hamilton "compromised himself and his office when he wrangled for a job at a new teacher training center at ODU just as he was seeking funding for it in the General Assembly." As Sean Holihan tweets:
Daily Press -- You're wrong for endorsing a man soon to be indicted. Any credibility you once had is completely and irrevocably gone.

P.S. These imbeciles also endorsed Pat Robertson's Manchurian Candidate, aka Bob McDonnell, for governor and former "Enron of the Insurance Industry" executive Bill Bolling for LG. In fact, the only one the Daily Press managed to get right was the no-brainer of all no-brainers: Steve Shannon over right-wing radical/tea partier Ken Cuccinelli. Congratulations, guys!

It's Time to Wake Up

Chap Calls Cooch Supporters "Freak Show"

Chap Petersen describes Cooch supporters at last night's Vienna Halloween Parade:
Most Bizarre Sight: The Cuccinelli campaign had volunteers riding unicycles while waving "Don't Tread on Me" flags. Freak show.
Appropriate for Halloween, though, I suppose! :)

P.S. Chap also describes McDonnell supporters as "carrying an enormous American flag and chanting 'U-S-A, U-S-A.'" Mmmmmmkay.

h/t NLS

UPDATE: After getting pounded by the right wingnuts online, Chap decides it's not worth it and takes down the "freak show" comment.

Whipple Clip Dozen: Thursday Morning

Thanks to Tom Whipple for the "Clips" today...and every day.


P.S. Also see "Lessons of two campaigns" by E.J. Dionne, which argues:
Deeds never openly broke with Obama, but he equivocated. The distancing has done Deeds little good in Republican parts of the state, yet has depressed his support with the sorts of voters who gave Obama his 53-46 percent victory in Virginia last year.
I agree.

Sully District Candidates Forum: Report and Photos

The following report and photos from the Sully District (Fairfax County) candidates' forum last night comes from Sully District Democratic Committee Chair Mary Lee Cerillo. Thanks as always to my friend Mary Lee for everything she does...

What a night! We had a rally before the Sully District candidates forum [last night] with about forty Caputo supporters. Handmade posters were in abundance with all of Delegate Chuck Caputo's accomplishments over the past four years. People are ready to roll and get out the vote.

In comparison, Caputo's opponent [Jim LeMunyon] showed up to the forum with just one supporter...his campaign manager! Pretty pathetic when you look at the mailers he's been sending out to Strong Democrats bragging about how many doors he's knocked on in the 67th House of Delegates district. It sure wasn't evident tonight.

I've got to say, we have some fabulous, intelligent Democratic delegates running for office in Sully District. I'm proud of every single one of them. I wasn't surprised by LeMunyon's response to one of his flyers which claims that he believes in limited government and equal rights for all Virginians. When LeMunyon was asked about his views on women and gays, however, it turned out that statement has not one shred of truth. It's amazing how these people claim that they want limited government and no oversight or regulation until it comes down to their narrow social issues. Then, it's perfectly OK for the government to be in your business [and your bedroom!] and dictate how you're supposed to live your life.

In other news, Stevens Miller called out Tom Rust's claims last night to support equal rights for all Virginians. Of course, Rust's voting record doesn't attest to that.

I hope a very clear message was sent tonight. We are out there with a vengeance. We are proud of our Democrats and what they stand for. Let's keep Virginia moving forward. We can't do otherwise.

Rasmussen: McDonnell Lead Grows From 7 to 13 Points

According to this time from Rasmussen Reports, the Virginia governor's race is moving in the wrong direction (from a Democratic perspective):
Republican Robert F. McDonnell has now opened a 13-point lead over Democrat R. Creigh Deeds with less than a week to go in the race for governor of Virginia.

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey in the state - taken last night just after President Obama made a campaign appearance for Deeds in the state - shows McDonnell ahead 54% to 41%. Only four percent (4%) remain undecided.

Earlier this month, McDonnell led by seven, and last month he was up by nine.
What's that expression, "If it weren't for bad news, we'd get no news at all?"

FDL Action Health Care Update: Wednesday (10/28/09)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Here are the FDL Action health care reform highlights for Wednesday, October 28.

1. Jon Walker reports that the merged House health care reform bill is scheduled to be announced tomorrow (Thursday) around 10:00 AM EDT. According to Walker, "it will likely not have the robust public option, which is a double slap in the face." Ouch, that sounds painful! :)

2. Walker writes that even if Harry Reid doesn't realize it, on Monday, he "crossed the Rubicon" by saying he would put the public option opt-out in the Senate bill. Walker believes that having done so, Reid "can’t back down and expect to be cheered for trying his best," and that if he fails now, it "would prove him a weak, worthless, ineffectual leader." Just a guess here, but omething tells me that Harry Reid - or any politician in Washington, DC, for that matter - doesn't want to be seen as "weak, worthless, ineffectual."

3. Jane Hamsher, on the Rachel Maddow show last night, "dared Blanche Lincoln to filibuster the public option, and said that there were credible people sitting on the sidelines in Arkansas, waiting for an entry point to launch a primary challenge." Hamsher adds that Senator Lincoln "strongly supports a public option for crops, but not for people." Priorities, priorities...

4. Finally, Jon Walker writes about that Joe Lieberman is demanding the public option be completely taken off the table. By some convoluted process of "reasoning," one that seems to occur only in places like the nation's capital, Chris Dodd appears to believe that any reprimand of Lieberman for trying to kill a top priority of his president and his party would be "ridiculous." Which, of course, is in and of itself utterly "ridiculous." Not to mention, "weak, worthless, ineffectual." Heh.


We're in the last week of this election, and it's time that we as Democrats take an honest look at the state of this election and plan our last days before this election accordingly. Creigh Deeds, Jody Wagner, and Steve Shannon are significantly down.

The latest round of polling data:

*McDonnell leads Deeds by 15 points, 55%-40%
*Bolling leads Wagner by 12 points, 50%-38%
*Cuccinelli leads Shannon by 16 points, 52%-36%

All three statewide Republicans are over 50% with just a few days remaining. In addition, our Democratic statewide candidates are slowly losing ground over the last several weeks and the expected Democratic turnout is falling in poll after poll. These races, barring a major Republican meltdown, are all but certainly over. Knowing this (and accepting it), where do we go?

All of the House of Delegates seats are up this year. These seats are still up for grabs in many districts. These are the candidates we should be focusing on now, seats we can save and some we can still pick up. Losing the 3 top ticket races will hurt, but we should not compound these losses with unnecessary loses in the legislature.

It's time to triage, and we should move quickly.

President Obama Signs Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act

The President signing the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act into law earlier today is something that would not have happened without all our work the past few years to elect a Democratic Congress and a Democratic President. Sure, things can get frustrating at times in Washington, DC, and they're certainly frustrating for progressives in Virginia right now. I'd suggest that we keep on fighting, while we also keep in mind the great victories we've achieved the past few years, and the great accomplishments that progressives have realized throughout this country's history. President Obama signing this bill into law is an example of how our activism is translating into results on a wide range of issues, from hate crimes to climate change to health care reform. Not fast enough, true, but at least we're making progress after 8 years of regression under Republican (mis)rule.

For a transcript of President Obama's this afternoon, please click here. The following is an excerpt:
To all the activists, all the organizers, all the people who helped make this day happen, thank you for your years of advocacy and activism, pushing and protesting that made this victory possible. You know, as a nation we've come far on the journey towards a more perfect union. And today, we've taken another step forward. This afternoon, I signed into law the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. (Applause.)

This is the culmination of a struggle that has lasted more than a decade. Time and again, we faced opposition. Time and again, the measure was defeated or delayed. Time and again we've been reminded of the difficulty of building a nation in which we're all free to live and love as we see fit. But the cause endured and the struggle continued, waged by the family of Matthew Shepard, by the family of James Byrd, by folks who held vigils and led marches, by those who rallied and organized and refused to give up, by the late Senator Ted Kennedy who fought so hard for this legislation -- (applause) -- and all who toiled for years to reach this day.

New Deeds Ad: "Voters shouldn't let style win over substance"

Steve Shannon Speaks at Obama/Deeds Rally

3-2-1 Countdown to Equality in WA, ME, MI

Speaking of fighting anti-gay discrimination; check this out from the Courage Campaign Equality Program:
Progressives are closer than ever to a victory on health care reform. As 2009 comes to a close, we've moved forward on other issues. But what's looming up ahead could be a disappointment.

On Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009- less than a week away- there will be critical votes on on LGBT equality in three states: Washington State, Maine, and Michigan. With so much attention devoted to other issues in the political realm, bloggers have banded together to ensure we don't forget the ones with a firm deadline next week.

For that reason, we've joined with these three campaigns to put together a summary of who, what, and how. If you haven't heard of these campaigns, and/or haven't done anything yet to support them, please consider helping out. If you are a blogger please feel free to grab this content whole cloth and use it for your blog posts. Scroll down to the bottom to grab the formatted HTML to drop into a post.

Last year, as Obama and Democrats were winning across the country, we lost marriage equality in California. It was a bittersweet victory. Pitch in to make sure 2009 isn't a bittersweet year. Take action to support LGBT equality TODAY.
Sign up here to make remote calls for Approve 71 in Washington State. Click here to sign up for a training and your shift in Maine. Contact voters in Kalamazoo, Michigan by clicking here. Thanks.

Shannon to McDonnell: Condemn Cooch's Anti-Gay Bigotry

If you agree with the following letter from Steve Shannon, I encourage you to call Bob McDonnell's office (at 804-612-9111) and ask him to condemn Ken Cuccinelli's anti-gay bigotry. Thanks.
October 28, 2009

The Honorable Robert F. McDonnell
2819 North Parham Road
Suite 210
Richmond, VA 23294

Dear Bob,

I hope you had the chance to read what Ken Cuccinelli said about employment discrimination against gays and lesbians in the Office of the Attorney General. In a Virginian-Pilot editorial, Ken was quoted as opposing the same non-discrimination practice that you observed during your tenure as Attorney General. In doing so, he stated, "[H]omosexual acts are wrong. They're intrinsically wrong. And I think in a natural law based country it's appropriate to have policies that reflect that." I have enclosed a copy of that article for your reference and have highlighted Ken's comments.

Given that you oppose discriminating against gay and lesbian Virginians who hope to serve the Commonwealth, I am asking you to join me in calling on Ken to recant his position. As reported in the Lynchburg News & Advance, you stated your position that, if you are elected, "[t]here will be no discrimination in the office of governor." The News & Advance went on to note that you praised the work of gay Virginians in your office and that all you cared about was "whether they met [your] requirement for getting results for Virginia." Though I understand you have concerns over signing an executive order, you have made clear that you and Ken disagree over whether sexual orientation is an appropriate justification for hiring or firing an otherwise qualified Virginian. Ken's comments, which invoke "natural law" in support of what he calls "appropriate" discriminatory policies, are unprecedented coming from an Attorney General candidate in Virginia.

I hope you will stand up for those who loyally served you during your tenure as Attorney General by publicly stating your opposition to Ken Cuccinelli's discriminatory employment philosophy for the Office of the Attorney General.


Steve Shannon

cc: Ken Cuccinelli
Virginia Log Cabin Republicans
Stonewall Democrats of Virginia
Virginia Partisans
Equality Virginia

VCU Poll: McDonnell 54%-Deeds 36%

Another day, yet another horrible poll.
In the final days of the gubernatorial campaign, Robert McDonnell holds an 18‐point margin over his Democratic opponent, Creigh Deeds among likely voters in Virginia; 54% of likely voters support or lean to McDonnell, 36% support or lean to Deeds. A 56% majority of independents say they will vote for or lean to McDonnell while 29% of independents say they will vote for or lean to Deeds. Both candidates do well with rank‐and‐file members of their respective political parties. Fully 92% of Republicans support McDonnell, 5% support Deeds. Similarly, 81% of Democrats support Deeds, 10% support McDonnell. McDonnell holds a lead in all regions of the state.
Other news from this poll:

*Barack Obama has a 49%-48% (+1) approval rating in Virginia.
*Tim Kaine has a 43%-57% (-14) approval rating.
*41% believe that Virginia's on the "right track" vs. 44% who say "wrong track"
*By a 52%-41% margin, Virginians rate the financial management of Virginia as "poor" or "fair."
*65% of Virginians believe it "really matters who wins" next Tuesday, while 28% think "things will be pretty much the same regardless."
*Voters believe that Bob McDonnell will do better than Creigh Deeds in handling economic development, the state budget shortfall, transportation and education. By a slight margin (40%-37%), voters give Creigh the edge on handling the environment.
*46% of Virginians consider themselves Democrats/Lean Democratic, 40% Republican/Lean Republican and 14% Independent/Refused to lean.
*26% of Virginians are following the governor's race "extremely closely" or "very closely," with 70% following it "somewhat closely" or "not too closely."

Bob Brink: We Can't Pave Our Way Out of Sprawl

Thanks to Del. Bob Brink (D-48) for representing the interests of his constituents on this important issue.

P.S. This mailer is in response to the Washington Post's muddle-brained endorsement of Aaron Ringel for Delegate in the 48th. What were they thinking?!?

Obama-Deeds Rally, the Day After

Sorry I'm getting to this late, but I wanted to add a few comments to Dan's post yesterday. The crowd, whose estimates ranged between 4,700 and 5,900, were certainly fired up. But, for who?

Clearly, Obama was the big draw here. Quite a few people I spoke to on their way in weren't really sure what to make of Creigh, or if they intended to vote on Nov. 3. I managed to catch up to a few of them after the event and they told me they liked what they heard from the President, and would "consider" voting for Creigh.

During the rally, it was all too clear who the crowd was there to see. Even the slightest mention of the President caused an eruption from the crowd. Creigh, and Jody Wagner, received a respectable amount of applause, but nowhere near the energy or enthusiasm I was looking for.

For his part, Creigh gave a much better stump speech than I've heard previously. He really tied together his background and left an impression of someone who understands what people are feeling these days.

Overall, I would say it was a good event that can only help Creigh, but definitely didn't have the appearance of the game changer Creigh is going to need to get to 50.1% on Nov. 3.

Revised House of Delegates Ratings

My last House of Delegates forecast as done on 10/11/09. At the time, Creigh Deeds appeared to be trailing Bob McDonnell by about 7 or 8 points. Today, McDonnell's lead has mushroomed to about 11 points according to, with some indications that it could even be worse (PPP has it +15 McDonnell; SurveyUSA has it +17 McDonnell). Given the deteriorating poll numbers, I've revised my HoD rankings.

3rd District. Del. Dan Bowling (D) vs. James Morefield (R)
Moves from Leans Democratic retention to Tossup.
6th District. Del. Anne Crockett-Stark (R) vs. Carole Pratt (D)
Remains at Leans Republican retention. Sigh.
7th District. Del. Dave Nutter (R) vs. Peggy Frank (D)
Remains at Leans Republican retention.
13th District. Del. Bob Marshall (R) vs. John Bell (D)
Moves from Leans Republican retention to Likely Republican retention.
14th District. Del. Danny Marshall (R) vs. Seward Anderson (D)
Moves from Slight lean Republican retention to Leans Republican retention.
21st District. Del. Bobby Mathieson (D) vs. Ronald Villaneuva (R)
Remains at Leans Democratic retention.
23rd District. Del. Shannon Valentine (D) vs. Scott Garrett (R)
Moves from Likely Democratic retention to Slight lean Democratic retention.
32nd District. Del. David Poisson (D) vs. Thomas "Tag" Greason (R)
Moves from Likely Democratic retention to Leans Democratic retention.
34th District. Del. Margi Vanderhye (D) vs. Barbara Comstock (R)
Moves from Slight Lean Democratic retention to Toss Up.
35th District. James Hyland (R) vs. Mark Keam (D)
Moves from Leans Democratic retention to Slight Lean Democratic retention.
42nd District. Del. Dave Albo (R) vs. Greg Werkheiser (D)
Moves from Slight Lean Republican retention to Leans Republican retention.
44th District. James McConville (R) vs. Scott Surovell (D)
Moves from Likely Democratic retention to Leans Democratic retention.
50th District. Del. Jackson Miller (R) vs. Jeanette Rishell (D)
Remains at Likely Republican retention.
51st District. Del. Paul Nichols (D) vs. Richard Anderson (R)
Moves from Leans Democratic retention to Tossup.
52nd District. Rafael Lopez (R) vs. Luke Torian (D)
Remains a Likely Democratic pickup
58th District. Del. Robert Bell (R) vs. Cynthia Neff (D)
Remains at Likely Republican retention.
67th District. Del. Chuck Caputo (D) vs. James LeMunyon (R)
Moves from Very VERY slight lean Democratic retention to Tossup.
73th District. Del. John O'Bannon (R) vs. Thomas Shields (D)
Remains at leans Republican retention.
83th District. Del. Joe Bouchard (D) vs. Christopher Stolle (R)
Moves from Slight Lean Republican pickup to Leans Republican pickup.
86th District. Del. Thomas Rust (R) vs. Stevens Miller (D)
Moves from slight lean towards Rust to Leans Republican Retention.
93th District. Del. Philip Hamilton (R) vs. Robin Abbott (D)
Remains a Tossup, maybe slight lean to Abbott.

To sum up: I see a likely Democratic pickup in the 52nd (Torian) and a pretty good shot in the 93rd (Abbott). I see possible Democratic losses in the 3rd (Bowling), the 34th (Vanderhye), the 51st (Nichols), the 67th (Caputo), the 83rd (Bouchard), and possibly the 23rd (Valentine). I'm also a bit worried about the 35th (Keam), possibly even the 44th (Surovell). On balance, it's looking like a bad election day, probably a net of 3-5 seats in the Republican direction if Deeds loses to McDonnell by 10 points or so. Blech.

Whipple Clip Dozen: Wednesday Morning

Thanks to Tom Whipple for the mid-week Whipple Clips.

[Lots more stories on the Obama/Deeds rally]

Afghanistan = (f) Viet Nam mindset

They are not identical, but for those who have been at this junction before, the road less travelled looks even better this morning. We have our own corrupt Ngo Dinh Diem style regime and an American public that was misled about the “war.” Recall, if Viet Nam fell, it would be the beginning of a domino effect that would result in the collapse of America.

Let’s see. It was a Republican administration that oversaw the establishment of the Diem regime. A Democratic administration suddenly with access to the facts had to stumble forward following an awkward policy handoff. A bunch of cute maneuvers by the CIA replaced a corrupt regime it had fostered. We lost a President that had a disquieting first two years in office but was coming into his own. And to prove our devotion to national security, we spent the blood of 50,000 Americans so that we could walk away with our heads held high.

I don’t know. Does that sound like a solid strategic precedent to you?

Charlie's In, Charlie's Out

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Well, that didn't last long:
One month after announcing his bid to unseat Rep. Eric I. Cantor, R-7th, Richmond businessman Charlie Diradour is bowing out.

He cited dedication to his family and to Richmond city in a statement released yesterday afternoon announcing his withdrawal.

Diradour, who doesn't live in the 7th District, was seeking the Democratic nomination to run against Cantor in 2010.
On his campaign website, Diradour adds, "While I am an idealist, I am also pragmatic enough to realize that this is simply not the right time for my candidacy." My question is, will there ever be a "right time" for a well-funded, serious Democratic challenge to Eric Cantor (R-Embarrassment to Virginia)? Not yet, apparently, and I think that's very unfortunate.

FDL Action Health Care Update: Tuesday (10/27/09)

Here are the FDL Action health care reform highlights for Tuesday, October 27.

1. David Dayen reports on Joe Lieberman threatening to filibuster any bill with a public option. Dayen points out that Lieberman's current position represents a complete reversal of what he was saying during the 2006 U.S. Senate election. Given this behavior, Dayen wonders, "why does Lieberman still have his committee gavel and what is Obama doing about it?" Good questions.

2. Dayen adds that White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said earlier today, "I have not heard of any specific calls that the President has made" to "moderate" Democrats regarding the health care reform plan announced yesterday by Senator Reid. Dayen concludes that "the accountability moment needs to come before the next election" and "[it] needs to come from the Oval Office." No argument here.

3. Jon Walker notes that "all major polls show that support for the public option is growing while opposition is fading." Except, of course, in the Senate office of Joe Lieberman. Grrrr.

4. Walker writes that Thomas Carper (D-DE) "is pushing for the public option opt-in and [Joe] Lieberman is looking at state-based public plans." Walker points out that these are "two very different proposals...rang[ing] from terrible to worthless." I'm trying to decide which is worse, "terrible" or "worthless." Tough choice! :)

5. Scarecrow asks why Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) is disappointed with a state opt-out for the public option, even though she "just got everything she requested." Scarecrow concludes that "perhaps [Snowe] meant not only that she didn’t want Mainers to have the choice of a public option, but she also wanted to deny that choice to the citizens in every other state, even though large majorities in most states (never mind Maine) want this choice." How generous of "Empress Snowe!"

6. Jane writes that the "public option has received the lion’s share of attention in the health care debate, but there is an equally important one relating to generic drugs that could mean the lifesaving drugs of the future remain too expensive for all but the wealthy." Hamsher is referring specifically to "biologics" which are "drugs made from living organisms [that] are considered the miracle drugs of the future." Meh, miracle drugs. Next thing you know, these crazy Democrats will want life-saving embryonic stem cell research as well! (snark)

Shields: O'Bannon's Claims About Adult Stem Cells "Devoid of Scientific Fact"

From the Tom Shields for Delegate campaign:

In a recent news release, John O'Bannon personally attacked his opponent, Tom Shields, for bringing to light O'Bannon's opposition to life-saving stem cell research, claiming Shields is lying about his votes.

O'Bannon, however, has stood in the way of life-saving stem cell research each of the last four years:

O'Bannon voted against Amendment by Delegate Vanderhye to Item 4-0.01 #1h, HB1600, 2/12/09.
O'Bannon voted for Item 4-0.01 #1h, HB1600, 2/12/09.
O'Bannon voted for HB30, Item 4-0.01 #1h, 2/21/08.
O'Bannon voted for HB1650, Item 4-0.01 #1h, 2/8/07.
O'Bannon voted for HB5002, Item 4-0.01 #1h, 4/11/06.

Previously, O'Bannon tried to defend his votes against life-saving stem cell research--votes he is now suggesting he did not take--by making the claim that adult stem cells have more potential than embryonic stem cells. (

Unfortunately for John O'Bannon, his extreme right-wing claim about adult stem cells is devoid of scientific fact and is widely discredited by the scientific and medical communities (National Institute of Health).

"His votes against life-saving stem cell research is yet another example that John O'Bannon puts the will of his party bosses above the needs of his constituents." said Shields' Campaign Manager Tony Coppola. "Either O'Bannon is more willing to defend claims he knows to be false than stand up to his party bosses or spending 9 years in the Legislature has clouded his judgment. Regardless, it's time for a new generation of independent leadership in the 73rd District."

Obama, Kaine Notch It Up for Deeds in HR

President Obama and Governor Tim Kaine brought together thousands of enthusiastic followers at a rally for Senator Creigh Deeds today that also featured the entire Democratic statewide ticket and some welcome additional fire from Congressman Bobby Scott (D-VA-03). Kaine, visibly tired, held a pre-rally reception with Deeds at the venue.

Crowds began gathering at the Ted Constant Convocation Center on the campus of Old Dominion University just after noon for the 4PM event. They included a few tea party demonstrators who lined Hampton Boulevard in front of the Center carrying placards and signature Gadsden flags.

Election Day Weather Forecast

Courtesy of the National Weather Service, here's the long-range forecast for Election Day 2009 in Virginia.

Arlington: Mostly sunny, with a high near 60.
Charlottesville: Mostly sunny, with a high near 61.
Danville: Mostly sunny, with a high near 63.
Fairfax: Mostly sunny, with a high near 59.
Richmond: Mostly clear. Highs in the lower 60s. Lows in the mid 40s.
Roanoke: Mostly sunny, with a high near 61.
Staunton: Mostly sunny, with a high near 59.
Virginia Beach: Mostly clear. Highs in the mid 60s. Lows in the mid 50s.
Winchester: Mostly sunny, with a high near 58.

In other words, there's no excuse - at least not weather related - not to vote. So go vote! :)

Live Streaming of Obama/Deeds Event

Online video chat by Ustream
UPDATE 4:30 pm: If Barack Obama's speech doesn't fire up Virginia Dem's, nothing will. "I don't believe in 'can't'!" - Barack Obama

Also, I just gotta say, if we elect Bob McDonnell, we're going to need one gigantic "mop" to clean up his mess in 4 years. Don't do it, Virginia!

This Is Where Appeasement Gets You

Joe Lieberman should have been kicked out of the Democratic caucus when he endorsed and campaigned for McCain/Palin. The fact that he was appeased instead got us absolutely nothing, except what Joe Lieberman always does - betrays Democratic principles and stabs the party in the back. Appeasing Lieberman by letting him keep his committee chair was a huge mistake, and I said so at the time. Inexcusable, get this guy the hell out of here now!

P.S. Over at FDL Action, Jane Hamsher asks a good qeustion: "what's [President] Obama going to do" about this?

PPP, SurveyUSA Indicate Landslide for GOP on 11/3

The polling news this morning has gone from horrible to abominable. First, here's SurveyUSA:

*McDonnell leads Deeds by 17 points, 58%-41%
*Bolling leads Wagner by 14 points, 56%-42%
*Cuccinelli leads Shannon by 16 points, 57%-41%

Now, here's PPP:

*McDonnell leads Deeds by 15 points, 55%-40%
*Bolling leads Wagner by 12 points, 50%-38%
*Cuccinelli leads Shannon by 16 points, 52%-36%

Enjoy the landslide. Barf.

UPDATE: This might be a good time to review NLS's "McDonnell +10" scenario, which would "lead to a GOP pickup in the House of 2-5 seats, giving the Republican Caucus 57-60 seats overall." There's also the "McDonnell +15" scenario, which would "likely lead to a GOP pickup in the House of 6-9 seats, giving the Republican Caucus 61-64 seats overall." My current prediction is for a net GOP pickup in the House of Delegates of around 5 seats.

UPDATE #2: With regard to the downballot races, this analysis by PPP is ominous.
There is some indication in the recent polls that Democratic voters are giving up on this race. At the beginning of September 38% of likely voters were Democrats. By the end of the month it was 37%, a week ago it was down to 33% and now it's at just 31%. That trend has major implications for the party's candidates further down the ballot.
This is exactly why, no matter what we think of Creigh Deeds or his campaign, we can't give up: there are many excellent House of Delegates candidates - incumbents and challengers - who could be swept out to sea if this turns into a Category 5 hurrricane (or is "tsunami" a better metaphor?). That would be a disaster for redistricting, as well as for putting a check on Bob McDonnell if/when he's governor.